From the Author
The theme underscoring Rescuing Ranu is altruism. Whom do we rescue, and how related must we be to want to - i.e. how many cousins are worth one brother? The following are questions for discussion:
- · Ashoke is related to Nela, and yet he betrays her. Mami exploits Ranu, but later helps Nela to save her. Why? The child's deformity serves as a symbol. Of what?
- · Although Nela and Jackson do not plan to stay together, they marry in order to get Ranu to safety. Would you consider this a purely altruistic act?
- · Jackson sacrifices his personal happiness with Nela because the village needs him more than she, and Nela puts her child's needs ahead of her own. What's the cost/benefit ratio of their decisions?
A recurring motif in Rescuing Ranu has to do with flocking behavior. Nela's flight from, and return to, the places she regards as home
mimic the choreography of a murmuration of birds, and give rise to the questions:
- · Is the bird in front (Nela) leading, or being chased? In which instances?
- · Were you surprised that Nela would take Ranu back to India, after sacrificing so much?
- · Why is Nela happier in India this time? What part does her lingering shame (discussed in Shiva's Arms) play? Jackson's sincere support of her work?
About the Author
Cheryl Snell's other books include a debut novel, Shiva's Arms (The Writer's Lair Books), and the poetry collections Flower Half Blown (Finishing Line Press), Epithalamion (Little Poem Press), Samsara (Pudding House), Prisoner's Dilemma (Lopside Press), Multiverse (GOSS),. In addition, she and her sister, artist Janet Snell, make chapbooks for Scattered Light Library, most recently Warped Passage and Live Through This.